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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

KIM VIII -- chapter 4.2: Bring Her Her Pipe

The Grand Trunk Road: http://www.jimwegryn.com
Start reading at: "The diamond-bright dawn woke men and crows and bullocks together. Kim sat up and yawned, shook himself, and thrilled with delight."
  1. What does Kipling mean by, "he borrowed right- and left-handedly from all the customs of the country he knew and loved."
  2. "If Kim had walked proudly the day before, disciple of a holy man, to-day he paced with tenfold pride in the train of a semi-royal procession, with a recognised place under the patronage of an old lady of charming manners and infinite resource."  Would Kim be satisfied remaining in such a position, despite his current pride and comfort, for a permanent of even extended duration?
  3. The plot of Kim is not particularly "tight," you might say.  What are your thoughts at this point regarding the story's development?  Additionally, many excellent novels feature relatively loose plots.  How might such narration be indeed effective and under which circumstance?
Aside: I'm reading Kim in Microsoft Word after having copied and pasted it from a gutenburg.org etext.  The problem with this, of course, and without turning off the application under the software's innumerable options, is the absurdly consistent appearance (just imagine it, considering all the cultural references in the text if nothing else) of those little red and green spelling and grammar squiggles.  Two occasions, however, brought me to think a bit about how this particular MS Word convention--not to mention that of Google and various other software--affects my writing.  Aesthetically, I hate the squiggles.  They irritate me, and they, well, make me nervous and self-conscious.  Despite my understanding of their frequent inaccuracies, I can't help but feel their criticism when they appear below my words (I'm not so bothered when they appear under another's, like Kipling's, for example), and find myself rewriting/-wording my sentences, even when I know I'm not wrong so to write.  Two examples of one English grammar issue that I nearly always rewrite for reason of this personal insecurity appeared today: "bring her her pipe" and "what was going on on the road."  Interesting that English's construction permits the appearance of the same word repeated consecutively and yet be accurate.  I think I understand that MS Word is simply trying to draw the writer's attention to potentially accidentally repeated words, but come on, there's really no smooth way to rewrite either of these two phrases.


  1. 1. Not sure of the context here, but it seems to me that it's an example of someone who takes the good parts of different cultures ala carte, rather than committing to one in particular. Maybe the first multiculturalist.
    2. For me, it's hard to tell. On one hand, he's clearly restless and curious. On the other hand, he's somewhat vain. I would say no, but he's definitely the type of character who enjoys being the center of attention.
    3. I'll be honest. It's not my favorite book so far. The lack of direction is quite distracting. I love the book as a window into Indian culture at the time, but I wish there would be somewhat more of a purpose to the plot.

    I understand the Word issue, but at the same time, the two words in a row is probably my most common error because I rewrite clauses without deleting a previous word, so I like when it alerts me that I did that.

  2. 1. I wonder, too, if it has anything to do with the "sinister" left-handedness.
    2. Yes. And I expect this will assist--though I expect some reluctance on his part--as he turns away from his transience and accepts his role as a "sahib."
    3. I'm right with you. I'm having a hard time feeling motivation to read this--or plow through it--and I guess that's a benefit of the blog. I'm just hoping that it's like "Jane Eyre" and will go somewhere after its slow start.


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